Things Went From Good to Really Bad.

Lost Eli

Things started out great and it was almost as if everything drastically changed after DaMontre Moore showcased why the Giants coaches don’t feel he is mature enough to get more burn. Or was it that Chip Kelly and the Eagles staff made in game adjustments that Coughlin and Giants couldn’t stop?  Whatever the cause, the Giants got out played in Philadelphia on National TV.  The promise of dominating the NFC East not only went out the door on Monday night but rather it leveled off the balance of power between Philadelphia, New York and Dallas.   At 3-3 the Eagles now lead the NFC East with the Giants 2nd with the same 3 – 3 records.  Both teams have struggled with inter division games with 1-2 records.

As we start week 7 there are now statistics available to see how things are working.  Last week “Elliot” Manning the evil twin to Eli Manning reared his ugly head.  The offensive line finally showed their weakness after the Eagles defense made adjustments and took ODB out of the game.  The offensive line would eventually lose one full second of protection to the Eagles defensive rush thus giving Eli 2-seconds when he needs 3 to make his reads and progressions.   That led to more “Elliot” Manning than “Eli” Manning like passes or pass attempts (the bowling attempt is a great example of Elliot).  The Giants had their lowest offensive production of the season. After starting the first quarter red hot they completely stalled only producing 247 yards.   The offensive line gave up 3-sacks, the second time this season (Cowboys game 1) after only giving up 3- over the past four games.  These statistics support the performance we saw on Monday night.

On the season the Giants continue to fall below the line in regards to third downs, redzone and Goal to go.  Shockingly Monday night didn’t showcase the Giants worst third down performance which actually came against the Bills (20%).  Monday the Giants were 4 for 13 against the Eagles for 30.77%.  On the season the Giants convert 42.35% on third downs.  Converting third downs are important because it keeps the defense on the field and drives alive.  The real concern through 6-games should be with their Redzone performance (inside the 20-yard line); a shaky 40%.  So for every ten visits to redzone, the giants kick a field goal 6.  Thing do increase when their facing “Goal to Go” with a 60% conversion rate to touchdowns.  Though you could argue 60% is still below what you’d expect when you’re within 10-yards. Especially with the multitude of weapons the Giants have on offense.

Week 6 Redzone Goal to Goweek 6 thid down

The Giants defense has played well in particular against the run but has plenty of room for improvement.  The Giants rush defense is now 7th (0.2 yards behind 6th) in the league.  Though top ten they’re slipping down the list each game as injuries chip away at their defense.  The pass defense has struggled from week 1, plagued by injuries and continues to underperform. You can draw parallels to this and their lack of pass rush.  The Giants have 8 sacks on the season just one more than the lowest.  The good news, if there is, they’re in company with some of the top defense in the NFL.

What the Giants can’t afford to repeat last Monday night. They also can’t afford to lose another NFC East game, especially against the Cowboys.  The Cowboys offense is still a big question mark with Romo out and Dez in question. But they’re pass rush is healthy and active.  The Giants will have their hands full especially since they’re 1-9 over the past three years against the Eagles and Cowboys.

 




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The Missing Person Report For Rueben Randle Has Been Closed

Andrew Williams Trenton Robinson

The Giants finally came out and played four quarters of football; kind of.  Besides nearly ruining every possible betting line in the fourth quarter, though ugly, the Giants closed out a football game and won a valuable and much needed NFC East match up against the Redskins.   The game looked great but when you look at some performance metrics it tells another story.  The fourth quarter became a little to interesting, the running game is still TBD and as much as I appreciate Randle’s contribution catching the ball his special teams contribution was very much not appreciated. It’s called hands team for a reason.

The defense played keeping the duo of Matt Jones and Alfred Morris to 88-yards which an impressive stat  considering the success these two have had early this season.  Last Sunday night’s performance leapfrogged the Giants to second against the rush 0.7 yards behind the Buffalo Bills.  Yet when it comes to passing the Giants are dead last in the NFL (Buffalo is 31st).   Cousins finished the game 30 for 49 with 316 passing yards. 316 passing yards…We can attribute this directly to the total lack of upfront pressure.  Cousins made many mistakes on Sunday night.  I would like to say the mistakes were the result of the Giants scheme but I have to be honest; it more of Cousin’s issues than the Giants play.  The Giant still struggle getting teams off the field when opposing teams are facing third downs. Though against the Redskins it was a season low the Redskins still converted 40% of their third downs. I would like to give a big acknowledgement to the Giants interior lineman who doesn’t get a lot of mentions. Hankin’s has been a real disruptor at the point of attack. Though this doesn’t result in sacks it doesn’t clog up on the middle and in passing scenario’s push the QB out of the pocket.  The Defense still has a lot of work to go but thus far has been good enough to keep the Giants competitive.

How long has it been since a Giant fans can talk about special teams and an not end each sentence with “how much worse can they get?”.  Not the case this year from punting, field goals and put return the Giants have been steadily improving. Many Giants fans were shocked and angry to see Jenning’s get penalized on the block punt. Thankfully for an offsetting penalty they had a second chance and Jenning’s logged his 10th career blocked punt. Yes that is correct 10th blocked punt. Since his days in Jacksonville and then in Oakland Jenning’s has continued to be a valuable special teams contributor. Previously he had to show his value behind Jones Drew and McFadden.  Even as the feature back he continues to play on special teams.   Harris brings real value to the punt and kick-off game for the Giants. It feels it’s only a matter of time before he rips off a return or two. We can only hope.

The Giants offense is creating opportunities. There have been drops but Eli has been slinging the ball around the field without being under duress.   Manning is 70 for 108 (64.8% completion) for 764 yards.  Up until last game he was throwing the ball to one primary receiver (ODB).  The Giants are averaging 8.7 yards per pass so Manning is pushing the ball down field.  Rueben Randle who had a missing person’s report issued after the first two games came up big on Sunday night with 7 catches for 116 yards with a TD including a 41 yard catch.  The attack will only improve when the Giants get Cruz back on the field. Cruz’s return will be delayed after taking the field on Thursday after 6-weeks to only re-aggravate his calf injury.  There is a lot of noise surrounding this lingering injury so it’s best to just wait and see.  Rather than introduce rookie Geremy Davis to the WR3 Dwayne Harris is now filling in.  There is a clear gap of confidence between Manning and Harris but over time we can only hope this shrinks.  Davis is  smaller receiver than Davis and complements the larger Randle. It will be great to see Harris fit in and find opportunities like so many other undersized receiver have across the NFL.  The offensive line is perfect but they clearly need to be applauded for keeping the heat of Manning which has limited the offense to one turnover through three games (fumble). The Giants have a +4 takeaways through the first three weeks which is one of the reasons why they should be 3-0 and not 1-2 (4th in NFL).  Where the offensive line has shown their weakness has been in the redzone. The Giants have consistently failed to turn over redzone opportunities into touchdowns (excluding the influence of Eli). 25%, 25% and 33% last week are not performance metrics that will sustain a winning season over 16-games.  This also comes back to the lack of run game and a few drops by our tight ends.

Perhaps this is the failure of the offensive line but the Giants running game has yet to really find it’s legs (get it legs).  Against the Redskins the Giants average 2.7 yards per rush. Jennings is currently 45th in the league in rushing.  The Giants are currently 23rd in rushing but have the potential to improve.  Williams showed his style of running on Sunday night introducing himself to Trenton Robinson in similar fashion as Jacobs did to Fred Smoot.  The Giants offense is still missing many many parts and the running game will eventually come around but it may need the pass game development (return of Cruz or development of Harris) before it can really flourish.

The Giants take on sexy rexy who has a chip on shoulder for being the step child of New York and constantly in the Giants shadow while with the Jets.  The Bills have one of best defenses in the league with a defensive minded coach who knows TC.   With a lack of pass rush Tyrod Taylor has shown he has the skill set to burn teams.  The Bills are not a team that Giants fans should over look. The Giants are massive underdogs in Vegas and will in fact have their hands busy in Buffalo.  If there was a time for the defense to come alive it will be this Sunday.  The Giants will need to control the ball and time of possession.  Keep the bills defense on the field to tire them out. That will require a running game and given the success of their passing game going against one of the best front four with two corners both with 2 INT’s this season the Giants will be tested.  The good news is the Bills defense is all for none as they are second worst in the NFL against the pass.  If the Giants win it will be a shootout and a close one 41-37.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Let’s Not Overreact

Week 3

The Giants played yet another great three quarters of football only to give away another 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.  This might sound terrible but when you look back over the past two games and the Giants have played quality football. It’s the other two quarters that really hurt them.  All things considered the injuries on defense, the instability of the offensive line and wide receivers 0-2 playing good is a lot better than 0-2 and playing terrible.

From week one to week two the Giants improved their play. And that is without DRC who had first left the game with a shoulder injury only to return, make a great stop and suffer a concussion.  There is still plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. This includes play and coaching.  Let’s take a quick look at the positives

  • Eli Manning:  Two games, no INT’s and two touchdowns.  Keep in mind it could have been 3 or 4 touchdowns.  He is one of 8 NFL starters with no interceptions and his connection with ODB shined threw on Sunday against the Falcons.  He takes responsibility for the Cowboy game but that was group effort of poor decision making.  Manning has kept the Giants in games and this should be noted.
  • Running game:  Collectively yes it’s creating yards and statistics. Over the past two games the GMEN have collected nearly 200-yards of rushing offense.  The problem is not one of the running backs has shown they should be the lead back.  Vareen is a specialist; Williams is the banger; and Jennings is the complete package. That was the plan. So far Williams has had a couple of great power runs including a 35-yard dash but like Jennings has yet to find a rhythm and consistency.  Over the two games the Giants are average 4.15 yards per rush. Keep in mind that Eli was the second leading rusher against the Falcons (1st half had 28 of the Giants 35 total rushing yards).  The running game will help loosen up the passing game and vice versa.
  • Rush Defense: A major topic of discussion relating to injuries which continue to pile on this season. The Giants are third in the NFL against the run average 3.0 per carry. It might not be a sexy statistic garnering a lot of discussion but not only is what they need it’s what is helping keep them in the game.
  • O’Dell Beckam Jr.: Not much of a show in Dallas but he showed off his skills set of getting separation and not getting separation to catch a ball. ODB also showcased his wheels taking  one of his 7-reception to the house.

For all the great there is a plenty of opportunities for improvement.

  • Offensive line:  It’s now becoming a seasons and not games in which the Giants have had the same five linemen play the same five positions. Injuries have been the leading the cause and with Erik Flowers injury against the Falcons there is a chance the same five guys who finished the game will be starting on Thursday.  Consistency will lead to success and right now the Giants are so far from consistent on the offensive line it’s really amazing how well they’ve played.
  • Pass Defense:  For as great as the Giants are against the rush they are horrible against the pass?  The Giants pass defense is so bad they’re last in the NFL allowing 702 passing yards over two games.  DRC is out this week which already leaves the Giants thin in the secondary.  The complete lack of pass rush does have a huge impact on this statistic but if you’re watching the games the opposing receivers are not only getting separation they’re wide open most of the time. This is fixable and it starts with a pass rush. The Giants have two sacks which still leaves them in the bottom 10% in the league.
  • Coaching: When you lose two games in the 4th quarter up by 10-points coaching has to come into question. This not only includes TC but position and coordinators.  The approach, strategy scheme there are a lot questions over two fourth quarters. But in all honestly the question marks start at kick-off and ends when the clock hits zero.  Consistency starts from the top and trickles down onto the field.

As I wrote last week it’s still way too early to positively identify who the Giants are. Given the NFC is literally falling apart (Romo, Dez, Witten, Murray, Bradford) the Giants might appear to be in bad sport but in all reality have the time and the ability to turn it around.  It starts with an NFC East win tomorrow night against the Redskins.

The Giants improved across the board last week against the Falcons including time of possession.  A continued positive step forward tomorrow can really make up for the errors over the past two weeks.

Let’s Go GMEN




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Week 1 ReCap: 1, 2……3? Maybe 2? I’m pretty sure it’s 3…

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You never want to look back on a game, no matter the game, and point to one specific play/possession that defined the outcome. The Giants were out played the entire game. The Cowboys moved the ball at will mostly without their star receiver Dez Bryant all game. The Cowboys turned the ball over and were miserable in the red zone. Yes Eli should have known how many time outs the Cowboys had. Yes he should have taken the sack and not thrown the ball away. Yes he was correct in telling Jennings not to score. No it wasn’t pass interference on DRC and the NFL did admit they blew that call along with the defensive holding on Daniel Fells. Those two plays won’t change the outcome of the game and if you believe they could then we’ll need to create a long list of other plays throughout the game that can blamed as well.
The stat line shows how lopsided this game really was. For example Tony Romo was 36 for 45 (80%) with 356 yards. Eli was 20 for 36 (54%) for 193 yards. The only statistic that was competitive was the “ehh” run game for both teams (99 yards for the Giants & 80 for the Cowboys). At the end of the game the Giants gave a game away that they had no right winning.
So onto week 2 against the Falcons who is coming off a wildly emotional win against the Eagles. Can the defense slow down the Falcons high power offense or at the very least can the Giants offense compete in a shootout? Injuries continue to the name of the game for the Giants. Cruz’s calf injury only appears to be getting worse and not better. Doctor’s said they’ve discovered blood in the muscle and as of today capped off a full 30-days since Cruz has practiced. Reuben Randle is plagued by knee tendonitis and it shows in his route running. Preston Parker has filled in at WR3 for the Giants in a very forgettable way. ODB was locked up and when he did get the ball the Cowboys were quick to swarm. During one hit (the biggest hit on ODB) Cowboy defensive back J.J. Wilcox broke his nose taking down ODB. The Cowboys made sure they were not going to be the second team to be scorched by Beckham. The defense is still without leader Jon Beason and defensive end JPP. Veteran leaders in the locker room and motivators on the field they are missed.
My first take away from the Cowboy game is the need for the front four of the Giants to create a pass rush. A problem that has plagued the team since 2011 without any pressure in today’s NFL the quarterback can simply pick apart the great coverage. Spags runs a simpler defensive scheme but the lack of pass rushes continues to be a major issue. Whether it is from the point attack or on the ends the Giants are going to have to pressure Atlanta. The first half of week 1 Julio Jones was putting on a route running show with Matt Ryan not facing much pressure behind the line. Meanwhile the Falcons were able to hit Bradford every other play and it stunted the high flying Eagles. This is what the Giants need to do this weekend and each game this season. Create pressure and to take pressure off Prince, DRC and Collins.
The offensive wasn’t perfect and that isn’t what we should expect. They played well and Erik Flowers really stepped up this first week. It’s a positive sign that if they can find some cohesion between the front five this offense will find its running game and round out. With a running back by committee consisting of Jennings, Williams and Vareen the Giants have the tools to be successful running now they just need to show it.
The Falcon’s looked good on both sides of the ball on Monday night football. They were able to establish a run game and Julio Jones put on a show. This will be a real test for the Giants defense. A key part of winning the battle will be getting them off the field on third downs. The Cowboys converted 6 of 11 third downs last week (54%). This number needs to be lower all season long and it starts with the pass rush.

Changes for week 2:

  • Win or balance the time of possession. The Cowboys had multiple 7+ minute drives and thankfully stalled in the red zone. The Giants need to win this battle.
  • Red zone efficiency was terrible. 1 of 4 and 1 of 2 in Goal to Go.
  • Get in rhythm on offense. There were spurts but nothing sustainable.
  • Create a pass rush and take pressure off secondary
  • Reduce the average play per yard on offense: Cowboys average 6.4 yards, waaaay to much.

This will not be an easy game and 0-2 is a honest and real situation. Yes we can quote the past, 0-2 in both recent super bowl runs. But that doesn’t really help anything.




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Here We Go…The Start of the 2015 Season…30-1 Super Bowl Odds

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The season is finally here and the team looks very different though the feelings about the season remain the same. The Giants had a lot of question marks on offense which they tried their best to address this off season. They took Erik Flowers in the first round and Bobby Hart in the 7th to address the offensive line issues. On defense General Manager Jerry Reece moved up in the draft for the first time in his history of being the Giants GM and grabbed Alabama’s Landon Collins at Safety and got a steal in the third with Owamagbe Odighizuwa at DE. They brought in a familiar face at defensive coordinator to resurrect fear in opponents. This quickly lost steam when JPP had a fireworks accident requiring a finger to be amputated. The season hasn’t started yet and injuries are dominating the Giants headlines. Training camp saw the safety position transform into a revolving door of free agents. As we head into week 1 even the beat writers can’t say with confidence what they expect from big blue on defense. The question marks were supposed to be on the offensive side of the ball not defensive. Just like the secondary the Giants offense is also reeling from injuries. There is no consistency or continuity on the right side of the offensive line, Cruz’s knee has been one upped by his calf problem, Randle’s camp has been hampered by tendentious in his knee which leaves ODB the lone healthy receiver. So what is the current state of the New York Giants and what can we expect from week 1?

Training camp wrapped up the first weekend in September with a lot of cuts that were not expected. Names like Hynoski, Weatherford and McClain. The moral of these veteran cuts was mostly due to business, Hyno savings after all the math is $90k over Nikita Whitlock whose value is that he plays on all four special teams units. McClain also suffered similar circumstances, due to make $2.5mm he was replaced by Uani Unga who had a great summer and comes with price tag of $435k. Mr. Weatherford who was being paid top 8 punter salary but is coming off two poor seasons of kicking (finishing 2014 in the bottom half of NFL punters) was let go and then replaced with a 7th round draft pick trade to the Steelers. The most disturbing detail to come out of this training camp was tied to the Giants cutting Brandon Mosley. With his departure there are now only five players that were drafted between 2008 and 2012 that remain on the roster. Toss in fourth round tight end Robinson and Jerry’s track draft report card is not so hot. But this draft did bring promise with Flowers, Collins, Odighizuwa, Davis and Hart. 2015 draftees is TBD.

This will be the second year for the McAdoo hybrid west coast offense and given the wide receiver woes via injury I’m not that concerned. The system isn’t made for a specific player; it’s a system that makes anyone great. If you can tell me how great Jordy Nelson, Cobb or Jermichael Finley were in college I would call you a liar. The system is based on timing and that is the biggest concern with the passing game. With Cruz out and Randle a constant question mark the passing game might need some time to develop. What does stink is crowd favorite Corey Washington was cut Injury/Waive. Geremy Davis the 6th round pick did have a good preseason but I would expect Preston Parker to be next man up given the WR unknown.

If the offense will take a few games to jell the defense might need a couple of more games. They didn’t look sharp when the first team was playing this preseason which doesn’t mean much but Spags defense is defined by its ability for the front four to create pressure. Unlike Fewell’s defense that also relied on this but came with a physics manual Spags defense is all about exploding off the ball and getting the offensive line on its heels. With JPP finally speaking with the Giants, failing his physical and returning to Florida to train it will be a real crap shoot to see how the front four performs. What are the chances the Safety situation just works out? Why not right? They load the damn position and everyone gets hurt. Now they’re down to the bare bones and we can only hope it works out. DRC on the corner had a great year last year, not splashy but solid. A repeat this year is needed and a healthy Prince could solidify the corners….big OLE COULD. History and injuries are not on the Giants side.

So here we go, same story, different season, new Defensive Coordinator, same head coach and super competitive NFC East. The Giants were 30-1 odds to win the super bowl. I’ll take that action all day long. They face the Cowboys on Sunday night, a team with equally as many questions. This should be a typical game Giants v. Cowboys game filled with messy play, penalties, full of drama and high scoring.




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Posted in Opinion, Regular Season

The Draft, Free Agency and Training Camp Expectations

The summer, baseball is in the back nine of their forever lasting season, it’s just horribly hot out and we now count the days till training camps begins. The Giants had a very Giants like off-season with the draft and free agency. The holiday weekend brought some unfortunate news and could potentially cost a key defensive player a lot of money and/or career. So I thought there would be no better time to start the season of New York Football Giants information flow than now.

For those that came out to support University of San Francisco Don’s men’s basketball this season I hope you took advantage of the sweet lounge they have behind the basket. Great food from The Pub, beer and wine makes watching their home games very unique and fun. I would also like to thank everyone that contributed to my buddy Jason Fleischer’s Man of The Year fundraising campaign. Over 10-weeks Jason was able to raise $302,000 for the leukemia & lymphoma society. He not only took top honors for New York City but also won the national competition.

This was the first draft in many years I didn’t feel the need to throw something at my television. The Redskins definitely took the Giants #1 guy on their board, Brandon Schreff Iowa and left them with their #2 Brandon Flowers. This pick was the smart pick for the Giants and not what I expected from Jerry Reese who is known to take value over need in the draft. There were plenty of players ranked higher but he was the best offensive lineman on the board, a player the Giants had scouted and a need they needed to fill. Though this first round pick was not splashy Flowers has the potential to grow into a well balanced offensive lineman. Splashy came when Reese, who has never in history of a GM traded up for a position did exactly that and grabbed Landon Collins from Alabama in the second round. This was a splashy move for the Giants and a good one. The Giants are thin at Safety and Collins is reminiscent of a younger Rolle; attacks the run, hits hard and can play the ball. The Giants were delivered a gift in the third round with UCLA’s defensive end Owa Odighizuwa. He is strong, fast and a difficult name to say, a perfect fit for Spags and his defense. The Giants also drafted in the sixth round a wide receiver from UCON, Geremy Davis. He is a big body receiver, great route runner but lacks big speed. He received high praise during the Giants OTA’s and is a candidate for special teams or the practice squad. The Giants have an incredible depth at wide receiver so finding a niche to get on the team will be his ticket to growing with the team. A few people even suggested he reminded them of David Tyree who was known for his big catch in the super bowl but who was also a valuable special team specialist.

Training camp starts officially in 8-days for the New York Football Giants. Some new faces and jerseys will be on the field while some fan favorites will be missing. On defense the Giants will be without the veteran leadership of Antre Rolle who the Giants decided to let walk west to the Chicago Bears. The Giants defensive backfield also lost one & done corners Walter Thurmond III (Eagles), Zachary Bowman (Dolphins), Stevie Brown (Texans) and Quintin Demps (free agent) to free agency. The rotating door that is the Giants line backing corp. lost Spencer Paysinger to the Dolphins and Jacquian Williams remains a free agent. Big man Mike Patterson is also still on the market as a free agent with no team claiming him as of this post. On offense the Giants will be without James Brewer on the offensive line (Jets), Adam Snyder is currently a free agent along with once highly praised but consistently underperformed WR Jerrel Jernigan.

The Giants went in a completely different direction from the 2014 free agency which can only be described as “Splashy”. This year they addressed many of their needs with smart valued players and complemented their offense with Shane Vareen a shifty running back with great hands out of the backfield. The Giants brought in Marshall New house for depth at the O-line and Dwayne Harris as a special teams returns specialist. On defense they signed linebackers Jonathan Casillas & J.T. Thomas as well as Kenrick Ellis and defensive end George Selvie. The Giants are deep at defensive end but with Spags back in charge and JPP’s accident they might need a strong rotation of speed pass rushers.

The Giants are a 32:1 odds to win the super bowl this year. The team is in a sweet spot historically for the Giants. Expectations are not super high but do have a minimum floor they need to achieve. Excellence is always expected from the Mara’s & Tisch families and TC knows he needs to produce after several underperforming seasons. Obviously with the early loss of Beatty the questionable offensive line goes right back to where it was five years ago. Can this offensive of line stay healthy, play as a team and give Manning time? Health has been a real issue for the Giants offensive line. For more than half of last season they played a different combo of linemen sometimes playing completely different positions. Clearly the goal is to have Flowers ready to go this year. But does that mean at Left tackle? Or will Flaherty have to switch around Pugh, Schwatz or Newhouse. The good news is the Giants are in the second season of McAdoo’s offense and given the bias to quick short reads Manning shouldn’t be subject to many long drops putting extreme pressure on the Giants front line to hold off opposing defenses.
Speaking of Manning he is up for a contract extension. At 34 depending on the Giants structure his extension there is a possibility we’re moving into the twilight years of the Manning era. Big Ben had a huge payday this summer and I imagine Eli will be in the same category of Ben as far as structure. I would expect a 4 or 5 year deal which would put Eli at 38/39 at the end of the contract. Manning’s back up Ryan Nassib is 25 and signed an extension back in 2013 that keeps him with the Giants till 2017. TC is a huge Nassib fan and said at the combine that he can see Nassib being a starter. He showed last preseason that he can play and that he understood the McAdoo system. Given Manning’s historic durability as a starter I expect him to receive another big contract but the length is up for debate. In 2017 Nassib will a free agent at 27 and ripe to be a starting QB.

A huge question that everyone should be paying attention to this summer is who the Giants decide to keep at tight end. This is important because it will directly affect Hynoski’s roll in the offense. Hank saw his play totals plummet last year under McAdoo. The Giants currently have 6 tight ends entering training camp. Starter Laurence Donnel, Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells, Jerome Cunningham and rookies Matt LaCosse and Tye Will. Similar to how Bear Pascoe would play tight end (blocking) or full back the Giants might opt to do the same this year and keep four tight ends. Time will tell during training camp if that is what they choose to do. This is huge for Hynoski who is only 1 of 16 full back in the league; shouldn’t a surprise that 13 of them in are in the NFC/AFC east and north. Though Hynoski recently signed a deal that will pay him north of a million dollars in the NFL there is no guarantee. I personally would like to see #45 on the field when the season starts.

You want depth at a position? How about wide receiver? The Giants struck gold when Reese played value over need in 2014 in drafting O’Dell Beckham Jr. The biggest question mark will be the health and strength of Victor Cruz. Even at 80% of his best Cruz can create headaches for defenses. Not to mention the advantages of the hybrid west coast offense McAdoo runs. A starting receiver set of ODB, Cruz and Randle can really open up the running game for the Giants. ODB to stretch the field, Cruz in the slot and the big body of Randle will create matchup problems. On the bench the Giants have Washington and Parker who showed last season they can make plays for big blue. The addition of Harris from the cowboys and Davis out of the draft the Giants can have great depth to rely on this season. But like any other position health will be the biggest issue.

With the addition of Shane Vareen to the Giants backfield they now have a solid portfolio of runners that complement one another as running back by committee. I expect Jennings to handle a bulk of the load since he is a downhill runner and good hands in open space. Vareen will be most dangerous out of the backfield (thinking of the good ole Megget days) and Andre Williams might be the fantasy killer as he excels in short tight and physical runs you’d expect at the goal line. With Jennings health always a question mark the Giants are built to sustain the loss of one. Unlike last year when they were pulling running backs out of the stands during halftime.

Similar to last year the Giants are bringing in a new system this season, this time on defense. Unlike McAdoo, Fewell or Gilbride this new coordinator has not only worked with Coughlin in the past but also with the Giants. There is a tremendous amount of pressure of Spags to turn this defense around and be the threat they were under his direction. This summer certainly didn’t build faith that it will be easy when it was reported that JPP had a fireworks accident. We all now know he had his pointer finger amputated and it’s anyone’s guess how that will affect his game. The Giants did pull their long term offer off the table but did leave his tender available for him to sign. Unfortunately JPP didn’t sign his tender either which means he is technically not on the Giants roster. It has been reported that JPP will not affiliate with the Giants until he is confident he will pass the physical. Though the Giants could walk away from this mess chance are they will not. In the end JPP will be a Giant, shorter smaller contact value and if he can perform he will get paid. If the injury is more than what he thought then he can only blame himself for the perils that follow a fireworks accident.

In the meantime this leaves the door open for veteran players like Robert Ayers and Cullen Jenkins to shine. Rookie Owa Odighizuwa might have an opportunity to show what he has to offer. Ideally the Giants would like to see Damontre Moore, fan favorite, to step up but it first starts with his maturity. The Giants feel like he is full of potential but lacks the maturity and discipline to be effective on the field. Last seasons splashy signing DRC has told reporters he has bulked up by adding 18 to his frame to be able withstand the style of defense Spags like to play. At 208lbs and 6’2 DRC is the biggest he has been throughout his career. His statistics from last year might not have been “Headline” numbers but overall he was top class for all NFL corners. With Rolle gone (who recruited DRC) it’s time for DRC to lead the defensive backfield along with Prince to be threats to opposing quarterbacks.

As training camp goes on I will update on any significant news I read or hear about. If the Giants are 32:1 right now to win the superbowl, I’m pretty confident on throwing $100 down for that bet. There is something special about the Giants right now. Possibly because they’re not in the limelight and they have real talent on offense. If Spags can get the defense to keep them in games there is a possibility there could be something there. The NFC east will return to the good ole days this. The Cowboys, Eagles and Giants are all contenders. It will be an exciting season and the fact the Giants get the road Dallas game out of the way week 1 will only benefit in the long run. Statically the Giants have a very easy schedule (half their season is against defenses that ranked in the bottom half in 2014) but that doesn’t mean anything. I expect a lot of ups and downs as usual this season. But if the offensive line can play together and decent, the defense buys into Spags and keeps them in games, the 32:1 odds will reduce down quickly as the season goes on.




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Well, then there is that

Musical Chairs

Who saw that second half coming?  The musical chairs of offensive linemen continues to provide excellent protection for dear ole Eli. Speaking of, for the all Eli haters who believe junking him and TC will bring a brighter future. Manning is on pace for 4,000 yards, 29td’s and 16 int.  These stats are only behind 2011.

Injuries are getting ridiculous.


http://www.camjamr.com
 

Reserve/Injured

                #             NAME                   POS.      HT.      WT.       AGE       EXP.       COLLEGE

  1. 20           Amukamara, P         CB         6-0        207            25             4              Nebraska
  2. 91           Ayers, Robert            DE         6-3        275            29             6              Tennessee
  3. 52           Beason, Jon              LB         6-0        232            29             8              Miami (FL)
  4. 29           Cox, Michael            RB         6-1         222           26             2              Massachusetts
  5. 80           Cruz, Victor             WR        6-0         204          28             5              Massachusetts
  6. 18           Harris, Marcus       WR        6-1          187          25             1              Murray State
  7. 33           Hillis, Peyton          RB          6-2         250          28             7              Arkansas
  8. 48           Howard, Travis      CB          6-1          200         25             1              Ohio State
  9. 12           Jernigan, Jerrel      WR        5-8         189          25             4              Troy
  10. 94           Kiwanuka, M          DE          6-5         267          31             9              Boston College
  11. 70           Kropog, Troy        T           6-6         295         28           4              Tulane
  12. 97           Manning, T             LB           6-2         237          24            2              North Carolina State
  13. 38           McBride, T               CB           5-9         185         29             7              Mississippi
  14. 74           Schwartz, G            G          6-6         340        28           6              Oregon
  15. 68           Snyder, Adam      G          6-6         325         32           10           Oregon
  16. 30           Taylor, Cooper          S           6-4          228         24             2              Richmond
  17. 24           Thurmond III         CB           5-11        190          27             5              Oregon
  18. 22           Wilson, David       RB           5-9          205          23             3              Virginia Tech


The Giants have had several opportunities to make this season a whole more worthwhile but continue to LOSE games before they're beaten.

Losing the time of possession game, holding opposing offenses to 5-yards or less per play,  getting their offense off  the field with 3rd down conversions less than 50% are statistics that are synonymous with winning yet the Giants have lost three games when all three are in their favor.

Injuring hurt the running; Williams is good but without Jennings the Giants lose 1.5 yards per rush, 3rd down blocking and hand out of the back field.  Our deep receiving corp has been decimated with a Giants leader on the sidelines. The offensive line was never good and with injuries have created a game of musical chairs with a different set of five linemen each quarter. Cohesion and continuity can't exist in this environment are two elements needed for a successful offensive line.  Unlike our offense line our linebackers were addressed with some quality signings but their downfall of being injured frequently has rung true. Beason is a beast, when he is healthy. McClain can't do it alone and is playing hurt.

TEAM 3rd Attempts % Run Attempts Pass Attempts 0-4 Yards 5-9 Yards 10+ Yards Run Conversions Run% Pass Conversions Pass%
Lions 3 13 23.08% 1 12 4 6 3 0 0.00% 3 100.00%
Cardinals 6 12 50.00% 2 10 3 5 3 1 50.00% 5 83.33%
Texans 4 12 33.33% 5 7 7 2 3 3 60.00% 1 25.00%
Redskins 11 16 68.75% 4 12 8 8 0 3 75.00% 8 72.73%
Falcons 9 15 60.00% 4 9 9 3 3 3 75.00% 6 66.67%
Philly 2 14 14.29% 2 12 1 3 10 0 0.00% 2 100.00%
Cowboys 5 13 38.46% 4 9 3 6 4 2 50.00% 3 60.00%
Colts 4 16 25.00% 3 13 2 7 7 1 33.33% 3 75.00%
Seahawks 6 13 46.15% 1 11 4 4 4 0 0.00% 6 100.00%
49ner's 6 15 40.00% 1 14 4 7 4 1 100.00% 5 83.33%
Cowboys 11 16 68.75% 1 15 7 5 5 1 100.00% 10 90.91%
Jaguars 7 15 46.67% 2 13 7 3 5 2 100.00% 5 71.43%
74 170 42.87% 30 137 59 59 51 17 53.61% 57 77.03%

There is no reason the Giants should lose this game but given the way the Giants have played this season; who knows?




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99 problems but 3rd down conversions were not one….seriously

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The Giants continue their losing streak by beating themselves for the third straight game.  After  beating themselves against the Seahawks and Niner’s you would of have thought they would finally get out of their own way on Sunday night against the Cowboys but the GMEN showed why they’re so bad this season by giving up yet another game .  The Giants played 85% of Sunday’s game like the team we all thought they could be “not dominate but good enough to play with the best”. Then in typical Giants fashion they give it all away in the final 15%.

What do I mean?

  • 75% conversion rate on 3rd downs
  • 7/7 on 3rd downs to start the game; first non-conversion was with less than 2-minutes in 2nd quarter
  • ODB couldn’t be stopped. His route running had the Cowboy’s secondary chasing him around the field. Oh yeah and that TD catch was REDONKULOUS.
  • Giants had the ball for 11-minute more than the Cowboys (first time they won Time of Possession in 5-games)
  • Giants ran 74-plays on offense
  • Manning average 7.8 yards per pass play. Tied for season high.
  • The Giants still lose?

If you watched the Cowboys final drive you now understand what happens when you draft 3- offensive lineman in the first round can do. When you watch our offensive line and you remember why the Giants can’t move the ball on offense. Don’t get confused, ODB special night changed the whole game for the Giants offense.  The Cowboy’s had to drop their safety and keep him out of the box which opened up running lanes and the under throws for Manning.  But when the Cowboys made adjustments and doubled ODB and the Giants high flying offense came back to earth in the second half.

During the Cowboys final drive Tony Romo in one series had 7 & 9 second to throw the ball. That is an insane amount of time.  Our front four couldn’t do anything and when that happens you’re SOL if you’re a cornerback. There is no way they could cover for that long; and they couldn’t. Before you knew it the Giants quickly went from upsetting the Cowboys to giving away yet another game.

That was a brutal stretch of games for our beloved Giants. They move into the next phase of the 2014 season by playing the remainder of the AFC south (Jacksonville & Tennessee), then they cellar dweller neighbors the Redskins, the Rams and close out the 2014 at home against the Eagles.

I don’t believe the Giants are as bad as their record indicates but I don’t think the talent on this team can play the way people thought they could.  I am expecting big off-season changes once again and I foresee a lot of fans getting new jersey’s (specifically on defensive players).

You can’t take any game for granted and Jacksonville’s defense has shown it can play.  The New York Giant’s season can be summed up “Possible but not probable”.  For the sake of many player’s I like to see return, I hope the Giants can win out the rest of the 2014 season and prove they still want to be in blue next season.




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It’s a Trap Game…In The Giants Favor!

So this week the Giants host the 49ner’s at Metlife. Every part of this week’s game should be a warning sign to every 49ner fan out there.  The Giants are under performing and suffering from detrimental injuries on both sides of the ball. The 49ner’s are playing for their playoff lives, coming off an emotional road win in New Orleans (ending the Saints 11-game home winning streak) and coming into a game with a struggling Giants team that hasn’t played well at home.  The Giants are desperate to break their losing streak after playing three tough quarters against the Seahawks only to give up in the fourth quarter.  This season has turned into a season of pride; a season of free agents playing for their contracts.

At what point do the Giants bail on Perry Fewell? The Giants owners are loyal to a fault but the defense has been an issue for a while and last week was BAD. The defense certainly looks to have given up on his schemes. They were abused by the Seahawks option read allowing 350 yards rushing.  Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson ran all over the Giants.  So much so they only attempted 17 passes.  The bright part of that statistic is they had two sacks and two interceptions. The downside of the bright spot is they still lost by 21-points. That is hard to do unless you simply can’t stop the running game.  They average 8.2 yards passing and 7.8 yards per rush.  Why pass if you’re averaging 7.8 per rush.

So my distain for Jerry Reese has never been a secret. But we now find the Giants in contractual precatory and in desperate need of the same problem we’ve had for years.  The greatest visual to this statement was provided during the Colts game.

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The system has changed (FYI for the better) but the same problems exists on the offensive line. If you read my blog you know this is not shocking.  We brought on 2nd team lineman, or offensive lineman that were injury releases that we’re even top end lineman to begin with.  I understand the Mara’s and Tischs’s are loyal and I understand  Reese won a superbowl in 2011 as GM (I can make arguments his move’s as a GM lead to this) but his “body of work” has been largely a failure.

Until this past game the Giants yards per rush hasn’t taken much of a toll. This is statistic that I like to look at because unlike passing when a game is out of hand teams rarely run.  That said, there is an eyeball test that fails with Williams. With the return of Jennings I hope to see more check downs to the flat either as screens or 3rd read passes. Jennings has the hands and the punishing running styles to add positive yards in these situations.   It’s no shocke that the Giants have gone from a 60% passing offense to +70% as the season went on due to the fact they are constantly playing from behind.  The conern is the fact they are not converitng third downs and leaving the defense on the field all game long.  Think I’m wrong? Take a look at the play by play. Find the Giants first third down conversion. Won’t happen in the first quarter.

The Giants did a decent job on third downs converting 50% on Sunday.  Not shocking statistic that they had zero running conversions even thought they faced four 3rd downs with less than 4-yards.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that any team with a +.500 record the Giants are losing too but they are close to attempting all third downs via the pass at 77%.  The Giants have had 124 3rd attempts with  41 under 4-yards.  “Hey Joe we get it, they like to pass a lot”

Late news on Saturday, Peyton Hillis was put on season ending IR after suffering a concussion. This leaves the backfield with Jennings, Williams and Cox.

Cold weather, cross country trip, playing a team that is struggling on both sides of the ball; TRAP GAME. Giants win…




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  Losing = Poor execution and game calling

So you can’t predict injuries you can only try to mitigate them with strength and conditioning.   But when it rains it pours at least with the Giants.  What started with an offensive lineman has now snowballed balled into what feels like a full roster of injured players.  As much as injuries hurt poor execution is the reason why the Giants continue lose.  The offensive line continues to be the center of “this needs to corrected” conversation.  Rather than invest in a solution that might be expensive (through the draft or free agency) the Giants continue to go cheap and continue to have problems.  If Jerry Jones can recognize the importance of an offensive line why can’t Jerry.  The value or need mentality has to end.  If you look at this offense and believe the offensive line isn’t the root of the problem then I am not sure what team you’re looking at.

I honestly didn’t have high expectations for this season; new system same problems.  What I wasn’t expecting was a defense that constantly looks confused.  All season, big names, still confused.  Shocking when the Giants turned it around in 2011 the players attributed the success on defense to the simplicity of the schemes.  Did this change? Why?  As upset as I am about the defense I constantly find myself talking about how they’re the only reason why the Giants have had a chance in any game.  I’m not saying they’re playing good, I’m saying they’ve prevented games from getting WAY out of control (i.e. Colts).

So how bad can this season get? Ughhh…welllll….bad.  So far the Giants have lost to every team they’ve played with a record over .500. In fact the teams the Giants have lost to have an average of 6.2 wins this season.  The average number of wins teams have that the Giants have beaten is 3. And that is with a fairly healthy number of players still on the Giants roster.  Based purely on this there are three possible winnable games. This is not a science just a quick eyeball observation.  Here is the crazy thing. I believe the Giants have a chance in every game.  The offense, lacking a decent offensive line, losing about 1.5 yards per carry with Jennings out and a roster depleted of experienced wide receivers can still do amazing things in the McAdoo system.  If the Giants defense can continue to keep teams to field goals and not touchdowns there is hope.  Please read this carefully. THIS IS A POSSIBLE BUT NOT PROBABLE FORECAST.

I believe any success the Giants have will come down to coaching and schemes.  The Steelers gave the NFL the roadmap to beating Indianapolis. Bunch receiver sets throwing the ball under, slants or crossing routes. Take away the strengths of the corners by keeping the offense inside the numbers. What did the Giants do; with Randle as a #1? Throw the ball to the outside, challenging the corners.  Ughhhhhhh…that didn’t’ work. Yes ODB had a great game but how does that help the team?  As well as the defense played, they still can’t defend the screen or under throws and big plays come 1 out of 8 snaps. Ughhhh….This is on the coaching staff, not the players. Execution is on the players, play calling is on the coaches.

The third down execution is just so bad. In first five games the Giants punted 21 times. In the past three games the Giants have punted 23 times.  Mind you also Weatherford has a bum ankle which means these are not fantastic punts. No offense, bad punting, great field position….how do we expect the Giants to even have a chance.  The Giants have converted 39% of their third downs this season.  Of the 39% they have converted 75% of those first downs through the air.  30% of the third downs the Giants have faced have been 10 + yards or more. This is the same issue they had last season; they can’t consistently move the ball to create short third down situations. That being said when you look at the Giants in third downs of less than 4-yards they are more likely to pass than run.  Pass or run the Giants struggle on third downs and is a major contributor to their failure this season.

TEAM 3rd Attempts % Run Attempts Pass Attempts 0-4 Yards 5-9 Yards 10+ Yards Run Conversions Run% Pass Conversions Pass%
Lions 3 13 23.08% 1 12 4 6 3 0 0.00% 3 100.00%
Cardinals 6 12 50.00% 2 10 3 5 3 1 50.00% 5 83.33%
Texans 4 12 33.33% 5 7 7 2 3 3 60.00% 1 25.00%
Redskins 11 16 68.75% 4 12 8 8 0 3 75.00% 8 72.73%
Falcons 9 15 60.00% 4 9 9 3 3 3 75.00% 6 66.67%
Philly 2 14 14.29% 2 12 1 3 10 0 0.00% 2 100.00%
Cowboys 5 13 38.46% 4 9 3 6 4 2 50.00% 3 60.00%
Colts 4 16 25.00% 3 13 2 7 7 1 33.33% 3 75.00%

 

The Giants face the Seahawks this Sunday in Seattle; just another weekend of possible but not probable.  Given the injuries to both sides of the ball I can only hope for a competitive game vs. a winnable game.  And I wrote about above, it will come down to the ability to create short third down situations (see Atlanta) and converting.




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